Sunday, July 4, 2010

Another fantastic weekend.

This weekend the dogs and I headed down south for the Olds Dogs, Ewe Tricks Stock Dog Classic in Olds. While the trial was loads of fun, it was just a small part of another perfect weekend. 

Louanne and I stayed in her gorgeous new trailer (which she better blog about soon before I scoop her) at Randy and Val Dye's. Randy's responsible for getting me into all this in the first place and I love getting down to see him and Val. Staying at Randy's meant lots of opportunities for working dogs. Thursday night Corey Perry and Abe Marshall showed up to work dogs with us and a great evening was spent working dogs in a nearby field, watching rainbows, and talking dogs. 

A couple of dogs waiting their turn. There were a few showers in the area, but never did rain on our parade. 

The next morning Randy had us up for more of the same. Kate worked on picking up sheep off of a set out crew, I stretched her outrun and she got to push sheep off a heavy draw - all great experience and she handled it really well. This past week (between the trip to Randy's and the trip to Scott and Jenny's) has been very good for her.   She's really starting to catch on to it all. 

Randy's the king of " let's see what happens" and "it's good once in a while", so the next thing we knew the older dogs were stretching out their 700 yards or so. The dogs were so far away we had to stand up on the truck tailgate to see what the heck was going on. I'm happy to report that all of the dogs found their sheep.  
As for young dogs, Louanne had her Craig with her. Craig is no longer the cute little fuzzy puppy I remember. 

 Craig, looking very nice behind his sheep.

As for the trial, things couldn't have gone much better. There was an entry of 27 open dogs at this arena trial. Hope and I were entered as practice for the "big show" next week - Calgary Stampede. As it turned out we had two great runs and made it to the finals. Unfortunately during our finals run we had a ewe that really didn't want to play the game. Hope handled her very well but push came to shove at the chute and he gripped off. Frankly, she got what she deserved.  The sheep were challenging (5 pens the first day and only 2 the second) but consistently so. Congratulations to Corey Perry and Jill for winning the trial.  I believe Carl Snedden came in second, Jimmy Walker took 3 and 4th, Wendy Schmaltz came in 5th and Hope and I brought up the rear in 6th. 

The thing I was most pleased about at this weekend's trial is how far Hope has come. A year of maturity and experience has really done him well. I couldn't have asked for a better partner. 
We've got a few days at home and then it's back down south for Wendy and Chris Schmaltz's Hill Top Trial and then straight to Stampede.


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